The Royals continued their trend of strong starting pitching, getting five solid innings out of Mike Montgomery. They also got eight strong innings out of their bullpen in a game that lasted nearly five hours, but the offense wasn’t able to finish the job in a 5-4 loss Thursday night.
Montgomery got off to a rocky start, giving up a home run to left-center field on the first pitch of the game to Francisco Lindor. He settled in nicely, though, not giving up another run until the 6th.
The Royals wasted no time responding. Alex Gordon singled in the bottom half of the 1st and scored on Hunter Dozier’s 16th homer of the season to put the Royals up 2-1.
Both pitchers settled in after the first inning, with Mike Montgomery cruising through the 5th. He threw just 64 pitcher, however, and was removed for Jorge Lopez in the 6th, which went about as well as you would expect. Lopez walked the first two batters and was replace by Kevin McCarthy, tasked with getting the Royals out of trouble.
He was able to get Ramirez on a force out to put runners on 1st and 3rd with one out, but Jason Kipnis singled to right to tie the game at 2-2 with the Indians still threatening.
McCarthy got a rare strikeout, just his 12th of the season, and looked to have gotten an inning-ending groundball, but Whit Merrifield booted it, allowing the run to score and putting the Royals up 3-2.
Merrifield, however, would immediately redeem himself. Bubba Starling started the inning off with his third hit of the game and moved to third thanks to back-to-back walks. With the bases loaded and two outs, Merrifield was hit by a pitch to bring in the tying run and tie the game at 3-3.
The Royals threatened in the 9th, bringing Jorge Soler to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs. Soler took Indians reliever Nick Wittgren to the warning track in right, but he didn’t have enough to get the ball out, sending the game into extras.
Cleveland did the same thing in the 10th, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs, but Scott Barlow was able to get Roberto Perez to fly out to right to end the inning.
The Royals bullpen held down the fort after Lopez struggled, working eight scoreless innings. The work was highlighted by Josh Staumont, who was able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the 12th.
The wheels eventually fell off, however, in the top of the 14th. Ramirez led off the inning with a homer to make it 4-3 and the Indians added another run on a Jake Bauers single.
However, Kansas City made it interesting and rallied in the 14, loading the bases with nobody out. Solar was able to bring the Royals to within one run with a sac fly, making it 5-4. They weren’t able to do any more damage, though, as Starling stranded the tying run to end the game.
Up Next: Royals v. Indians, July 26, 2019, 7:15 PM CDT, Kauffman Stadium. RHP Jakob Junis (6-8, 4.83 ERA) v. Zach Plesac (4-2, 3.50 ERA)